Duluth poet helps those dealing with grief

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:51 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - After the Texas school shooting, many of us are struggling with feelings of grief.

One local poet is dedicating her time to helping people put those feelings into words.

Cathy Cato has always used poetry to help process her emotions.

“What I’m doing has grown out of my own experience,” Cato said. “I lost both of my parents. My mom was was barely 70, my father was 74.”

When her parents passed away, she found comfort in writing about that loss.

She now uses her talents to help others heal.

In 2020, she started Honor and Comfort, a service that creates remembrance poetry for those experiencing grief .

“You just expand to hold,” she said. “It’s almost like being a holder for a while, and it’s just so moving to see the connections people have made.”

Cato starts her process with a conversation.

She gently gathers information about the departed by listening to stories and looking at photographs and other materials.

She sits with all that information for at least a day and then gets to work.

“I do free writing and then normally some kind of form or idea will take hold,” Cato said.

When the poem’s complete, she sends it to her clients, who put them in funeral leaflets, hang them on the wall or share them with other loved ones.

“I feel that it’s really an honor to be able to share at that personal level, level. I feel more enriched rather than depleted,” Cato said. “I think the one thing grief does is connect people.”

Cato also works with an artist, Clare Cooley, who provides an adornment to go along with the poem upon request.

For more information about Honor and Comfort, click here.

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